When or Where are Facts, Facts?

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~  by Sha’Tara]

I’m expanding this thought from a comment I made on another blog about facts.  I want to demonstrate something here about discussions and arguments on the existence of facts.  I begin with the most common bone of contention between people: about God, religion, evolution… you know, the usual circular bitter arguments on whether God exists or not. I’ll put the “does God exist” argument and “when are facts, facts” in two simple categories, allowing for both “yes and no” being actually correct. 

Follow my line of reasoning and your wish for “peace on earth” so much bandied about at this time of year in these post-Christian worlds may come true!  This is an important discussion for all, but particularly for me since the “peace on earth” concept is imbedded in my make-up.   My chosen name, Sha’Tara means “Shalom ar Tara” (combination of Hebrew/Irish/French/English)  In Celtic Irish: Síocháin ar an Domhan; in Welsh, the closest translation to my own language, Breton: Heddwch ar y Ddaear.) In  English, simply “Peace on Earth.”  Finding that holy grail of peace on earth is my entire purpose for existence, my chosen purpose.  I don’t apologize for that though it may come across as rather presumptuous, there are worse choices.

That said, does God exist as a fact? 

There are billions of people who are convinced that she/he/it does.  More than do not believe it.  That makes the existence of God a philosophical and psychological fact.  This is the area where God exists as a fact that cannot logically be argued against. 

There are many (most) scientists and observers in the material realm who say there is no material/physical evidence for the existence of God therefore God does not exist.  That makes God a non-existent entity.  On this plane of observation God cannot exist.  Hence the fact is that God not only does not, but cannot exist “on earth.”  Another way of putting it, God is always transcendent, never immanent, get used to it.

A bit like Schrödinger’s live/dead cat experiment, don’t you see?  (Interested? Copy the name Schrödinger and paste in search engine – you’ll be buried under all kinds of explanations that in the end admit they didn’t explain anything.  Get used to that too!) 

This is the stance I’ve always taken about all things.  My personal balancing mental mechanism in dealing in facts is, all things exist, I just have to find their level of existence to determine whether their existence affects me (you, us) “in this dimension.”   

Do flying pink elephants exist?  Yes, in the realm of my imagination and creativity, they exist.  I can “see” them with my mind.  So far, no conflict.

Do they affect my physical/material existence?  No.  In this realm they have no substance because they cannot impinge power/energy upon it.  No conflict.   

It is my prerogative however to make myself into a complete fool to the point of introducing chaos and disorder by insisting, by whatever means available, that they exist here.  I can attempt, by such means to convince enough people that they exist in this reality so they join me in my delusion, thus increasing the tempo of entropy on earth.  Collective delusions create entropy, oh yes.  What is entropy?  Ask your search engine.

Despite my apparent success, having created a belief system in flying pink elephants, this plane of existence isn’t giving me a fact, all I have is a bigger, more powerful and dangerous delusion creating a growing wave of violent controversy.

Let’s push this a bit:  I believe that pink elephants exist in imagination.  I take that belief and force-feed it into physical reality through sophistry and demagoguery, by claiming that I can harness a pink flying elephant to my car and it can pull me across the skies, like Santa’s reindeer.  (In Internet reality using imaging programs I can even “create” flying pink elephants.  I bet someone’s going to post one on this blog: please do, I think they are incredibly cute!)

Now, I’m just itching to talk about UFO’s here too but that would open another can of worms I’ll keep closed for the time being.  

I can make people believe in the existence of flying pink elephants but in actual, observable fact, will it work in this realm?  No.  Observation dictates this is not logically debatable.

Here is a more practical experiment on facts existing on different levels that cannot be crossed.  Do fish exist?  I’m looking around the room here and I don’t see any fish.  At this point, having never seen a fish, for me fish don’t exist.  Someone comes to me and explains that in a watery environment there are fish if I care to go there and observe.  I go there and indeed I see fish: they exist, in water.  So I decide to bring some fish to live in my apartment.  They die.  My apartment has air, not water; not a suitable environment for the fish. 

Ergo, we need to keep our facts in their suitable environment or they become baseless.  The error wasn’t in whether the fish are a fact or not, the error was to attempt to bring a water-environment fact into a non-water environment.  The fish-fact did not become a non-fact, it just died.

There is a place where God’s existence is fact, and I can go there, by choice, at will, to worship or to query and castigate.  (Castigate, you say?  How sad!  Well, maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but God and I don’t get along anymore and you probably don’t want to ask me why – you won’t like my answers if you’re a God trusting person.)

There is a place where God’s non-existence is a fact, and that’s the one I live in as a physical entity.  No conflict.  Religious people bring their God-fish into a non-watery environment, it dies, but they keep on insisting it is alive and active “here”  and that’s their great delusion. 

Facts are facts but the physical/material universe only accepts those facts that fit with its own nature.  When religious people insist on bringing their spiritual dimension facts into this material reality conflict is inevitable.  The Bible and the Christian New Testament are full of references to “the world” rejecting spiritual concepts and persecuting believers, or vice-versa, believers persecuting non-believers. 

Conversely, materialists take their materially observed facts to the non-material realm to try and impose those facts on its spiritual consciousness, or mental reality.  They get automatically rebuffed and instead of realizing their mistake, get angry, mocking and denying the experience as fraudulent. 

Oil is a fact.  Water is a fact.  It is also a fact that they don’t mix. 

Never will peace be achieved between these two groups of fact-followers because they are incompatible and irreconcilable.  No amount of legalism, political correctness, punishment, love, scientific observation and “proof,” acceptance or force, can ever join these opposites.  They are repulsive to each other, like two positive or negative magnetic poles.  They repel each other so that neither one nor the other can overcome and destroy the entire process we call life.  Conflict is not an inherent aspect of the cosmos but we need to know that it is very much an inherent aspect of this universe.  As universal beings we swim in an ocean of conflict.  

We can observe this violence, but can we learn from it?  Can we, as intelligent, sentient and self-aware beings take the next evolutionary step, wean ourselves from our little universe and its foibles and become cosmically-aware beings?  Can we take that next step that allows us to make peace with irreconcilables, not by trying to forcefully impose one on the other, but by making room within our minds for all of it?

From YLea, my Altarian Teacher: “Believe all things, believe in nothing.”  “When none of it matters it will all be yours.”  “Nothing is impossible.”  Let me interpret that last one, most people get it wrong.  It doesn’t mean that all things are possible, it means simply that nothing cannot exist!  And that fits in with the theme of this short article: whatever you believe, must, of necessity exist because you cannot believe nothing.  If it exists, then it is a fact.  You cannot believe in non-facts.

I cannot resist this last shot.  As the late great Harry Crumb (John Candy) master detective said, and I quote:  “Believe what you will, but don’t believe it here.”  

 

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19 thoughts on “When or Where are Facts, Facts?

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      “You know Nicky, you and I are a lot alike, travelling through life…IN A CAR WITH NO BRAKES!!!!!!!!!!”
      “Vincent Barrrrns… numberrrr nine…. good, good, good. Verrrrry, verrrry good…”
      Who, me? Quote Harry Crumb?

      Reply
  1. We come from dreams ~

    >I can make people believe in the existence of flying pink elephants but in actual, observable fact, will it work in this realm? No. Observation dictates this not logically debatable.

    You just hadda tempt me, didn’t you!

    Reply
      1. Sha'Tara Post author

        Her daughter… no seriously, I used the wrong word. I meant something in the order of the Alpha and the Omega, first and last. Stealing a line from Sylvester (after his bout with Tweety and disgust at his inability to get the slimy little guy, not to mention his many resultant body aches), “From now on, penultimate is off my lisht of big words.”

      2. We come from dreams ~

        Yeah, well, I always sided with Sylvester, Wile E Coyote and Tom the Cat.

  2. franklparker

    I like your logic. But I think you may be missing something. Each of those who believe in God (or gods) has a different idea of what God is from that of the next believer. In that sense, all gods are personal to the individual believer.
    It is, of course, true that clever and/or charismatic individuals can make other individuals believe in a particular God that has characteristics that closely resemble those of each individual’s personal God. They do that, not because the God, or gods, exist, but because belief in the God enables them (the clever/charismatic person, for simplicity’s sake I’ll abbreviate that to CP henceforward) to bend the will of their followers by convincing them that the God, or gods, demand certain kinds of behaviour. Behaviour that, although the CP ensures his/her followers that they will be better for having behaved in the prescribed way, and that any suffering they experience, in the past, now or in the future, is the consequence of not having behaved in the prescribed way, the only true beneficiary is the CP and those (s)he represents.
    In short, promulgation of the belief in an omniscient God who commands us to do certain things and not to do other things, is just another way for the strong among us to control the weak.
    And I’m not saying it doesn’t work. It demonstrably has worked in the past. But it is, I contend, far better to use logic, rather than fear of the unknowable, in order to demonstrate the benefits of certain patterns of behaviour and the damage that can be done by certain others.
    It is logic that tells me – and you – that living in accordance with the guidance given, or so we are told, by Jesus of Nazareth, is beneficial to me and to all those with whom I come into contact. I don’t have to believe that he is ‘the Son of God’, that he was born of a virgin, that he performed miracles and was crucified, to understand that the things he said make a great deal of sense. In fact, I would go further and suggest that all that other baggage actually detracts from the message because it makes me doubt his very existence.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Well presented, and “factual”. Your last part about Jesus is where I’m at… basically. Logic and common sense even come into it, if we can disregard the hyperbole and stick with the facts of the teachings. I wrote a Christmas short story which I’m currently posting to illustrate how “faith” if approached properly can do good in the world. It is those controllers, the “CP’s” who continually destroy a good thing, and I agree, all those miracle stories, the reason for the crucifixion, etc., detract from the usefulness of the message, and I think that is the point of the myth. Thanks Frank

      Reply
  3. gigoid

    Wonderful! You must feel much better. *smile* I know I do.

    I’m not being facetious, either. I had a smile working on my face as I read through it all, though in spots, I found it a trifle obscure. But, you always managed to get back to your points, so, kudos on that.

    Personally, spending many years in mental hospitals in the craziest state in the world, (working, that is…), has always created in me a sense of wonder, and amazement, that people from so many different universes could coexist on one planet, even if that coexistence did not always go smoothly….

    It’s a big universe we live in, just the one we can perceive, yet, each of us in truth lives in only their own. Each must figure out how to deal with that, in their own way… so, they do.

    Great post, milady….

    gigoid, the dubious

    😎

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you so much… I’m glad “it” found a mind that could understand the reasoning, though yes I agree it gets murky in places. Wish I had some academic “training” to put ideas together more clearly, especially the tough ones, and more time to do it properly. Anyway, again, thank you!

      Reply
  4. polymath0

    First of all, “Finding that holy grail of peace on earth is my entire purpose for existence, my chosen purpose,” is lovely. I believe that is my purpose for existence as well, and I integrate it into my life. Thanks for BEING.

    Your post has me thinking, and I bring up the question, is a fact unchangeable? I’m an atheist, a logician, and an INTP personality, so my view tends to be biased toward fact=fact, and I took a formal logic course in college. About a decade and a half ago I took the Graduate Record Exam. I did well on it, but it was of no use since I could not afford graduate school. However, I’ll always remember one of the essay questions, which regarded fact. It went something like this, “Facts are stingy things. They can’t be changed with…” and I can’t remember the rest. I do remember taking an opposing view in my essay, though. Don’t get me wrong. We have a firm reason to believe that the aspirin will relieve pain, and if 1 + 1 did not equal 2, then my roof would suddenly collapse on my head because we base engineering and more on these facts. But I had to add in my essay that facts do change. We once believed the Earth was flat because when we look at it there is no other explanation. How could it be anything but? We eventually realized gravity and the possibility of a round Earth, and then we developed Newtonian physics. Fact, and it is so much so that we still teach it in basic physics. Then, we learned of Einstein physics, quantum mechanics, relativity and found that Newtonian physics is really not the true fact, though it is still quite helpful. While Einstein was still alive he had the forethought to say that his theories were not complete and would likely be exchanged for something greater and more definite.

    My conclusion is that fact is important, and it is the belief in something concrete when nothing further can disprove it. This still works in the God debate, since no two people believe in the same God. But does it mean that a fact is unchangeable?

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Ah, the fact debate. Fact: a dog is not a cat. I think that fact should hold us for a while, at least until we create a situation here that leads to serious mutation. See? A fact is a fact only until… it’s no longer a fact. We live between worlds as human beings. We are more than physical/material “things” that only know “unchanging” facts about our environment. Unlike the wild animals, we cannot adapt to a changing material environment (caused by us mostly) so we adapt our environment to us through fakery. We fake it til we make it, or for as long as we can. That’s our civilization. It isn’t based on facts, just on bits and pieces of facts which we use or discard as it pleases us. Why do we not care about nature? Because we are not, at the mind level, natural beings. We have “other” thoughts all the time. Between worlds. We “fabricate” other facts from which we look upon the world and seek to make the world dance to our machinations, inventions, creations. We enter a world of other (alien) facts where there are no rock-solid conventions. Powerful people and organizations, for example can create facts (distorted reality) through the “manufacturing of public consent” or systemic brainwashing. If enough people “see” something – say a flying pink elephant – that becomes a fact of belief. God is a fact of belief. What did I write before, that you cannot think in non-facts?
      We can get all twisted up in defining facts but for me the bottom line is, this “fact” – can I make it work for me? Will it do what I want it to do? Or, having decided this is a fact, does that make me a better person? Am I more human because I accept this rather than that, as a fact? Does it matter that a cat is not a dog? Is it not more important that I don’t mistreat the dog because it is not a cat, or vice-versa? Think racism. Is it a fact that white is superior to black skin? For too many whites, that is an undeniable fact and they will prove it through bigotry and violence. Maybe there are no facts.

      Reply
      1. polymath0

        Excellent point, and you are right. I’m on the side against racism, bigotry, sexism, etc…the cruelty of others. I often take deep thoughts on my own tangents, because I love to explore thoughts. This is one. Thanks again for your excellent reply.

        As a side note, I considered hanging my collection of pink elephants from fishing line and sending a photo, but I have too much to do. So, imagine the fact that I have three pink elephants given to my mom from my great grandma and to me from my mom. They sit beside me and are aching to fly.

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